Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer 2016

It's been so long and I don't have any idea where to start. It is the Summer of 2016 and the months have been flying by. This was the first summer in my children's lifetimes that I had to go to work everyday, instead of having the summer off with them. To say my heart was broken is an understatement, but we managed to squeeze in a family vacation and fun on weeknights and weekends. August will be here in just a few weeks, and it seems odd to not be preparing my classroom with lots of colorful supplies for upcoming students. I still question myself daily on whether or not I made the right decision - leaving the classroom after 13 years of teaching. There are pros and cons to my decision and I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. One thing is for sure - I miss the lazy summer days that I had with
my kids. Here is what we have been up to all summer:

Playing lots and lots of baseball! Callie played T-ball for the first time this year and did a great job - and paid more attention in the game then I thought she would! 
Max moved up to the major league and was the youngest on his team - but ended up having a great season and even made All-Stars!

We spent time with close friends and family...

We had a baby shower for my sweet sister-in-law…and I will have a brand new niece in just a few weeks! I can't wait to hold her and see my brother become a daddy!

 We visited Destin, Florida with Gabe's family for a week and had such a wonderful time bonding with family!

Relaxing in the sun...

Fishing in the pond in front of our home...

And having some unforgettable moments of fun!!

Friday, June 3, 2016

News stories...

I lay in bed while the news articles I have read earlier today jumble up in my head. As I read each story I felt physically ill. That feeling didn't leave as a trudged through my day. It kept nagging and nagging at the edge of my emotions.
Children being beaten and starved and raped and I just don't understand. Details and phrases are stuck in my head - the agony these children experienced without reason.
I think of my own babies tucked tightly into their beds and feel guilt. Guilty that they are so loved and so taken care of...when there are so many children who aren't.
I feel such a desire to GET UP and HELP...to do something that will make a difference. Something that will make the horrible news stories stop. The only viable option I can see at 10 pm on a Thursday night is pray. I pray for the mothers and fathers who are ravaged by drugs, I pray for the children who only get a meal when they go to school for the day, I pray for the babies who are beaten to death for crying, yet aren't even old enough to form words for what they need or want.
And I cry. I cry for those kids who have never known what it feels like to be safe.
To not be afraid when they go to sleep.
To not wonder when they will eat next.
To not worry about making mommy or daddy mad.
For those who suffer and have done absolutely nothing wrong.
I pray.

Our world is filled with sadness and scariness and hit-you-in-the-gut stories every single day in the news. The only thing I can cling to is my HOPE in Jesus. And I know how He feels about children:

Matthew 18:2-6
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.
3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Please join me in prayer for the children who are helpless to the abuse and suffering they endure each day. "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. " Matthew 18:20